Follow by Email

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Undertow by Michael Buckley

Product Details
Image courtesy of

by Michael Buckley

In this new Dystopian thriller, Coney Island has been transformed into a immigrant settlement for a new breed of creatures; the Alpha.  The Alpha arrived via the ocean and come in all shapes and sizes; scaly, sharp and slimy shapes and sizes.  Predictably, there are humans who have welcomed them, and some who have not.  It is this animosity that serves as the conflict in the book.

Basically, this is a civil rights story.  The Alpha have been living in the settlement for some time, and it's time for their children to go to school.  The Federal government is supportive of this integration, however the Governor of New York is decidedly not.

There is a rebel group of citizens calling themselves the Coney Island Nine who vocally, and physically protest any interaction between humans and the Alpha, and they are in full force the Monday that integration is to begin.

Enter Lyric Walker, typical high school student from the outside.  Lyric is asked to help the prince of the Alpha assimilate into high school life.  However, Lyric has a secret that threatens to tear apart her family.  Befriending the prince just might cost her more than her popularity.

But what Lyric and other government officials don't realize is that it is not the Alpha that they should be concerned about; there is something far more sinister in the ocean, and they are on their way.

Undertow is the first book in what promises to be a fast-paced series.  Fans of Dystopian fiction, science fiction and fantasy will enjoy this new series.  However, the parallels to our own civil rights movement and school integration history would make this an interesting book to pair with a non-fiction book or article on these subjects.


  1. I had trouble with this on several counts-- it was super depressing, and I couldn't figure out a good reason why the Alpha even wanted to be at Coney Island. Everyone was so unhappy! I think it's just a bit too YA for my school.

  2. I agree that the situation that the Alpha were in was depressing! I couldn't help thinking about our country's school integration woes while reading this book. It is a depressing subject, but like our schools today, I'm hoping the journey will lead toward unity among the Alpha and the non-Alpha! Thank you for your comment! :0)